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Here is the final Lost Gems of Yesteryear: Odyssey Two update!

Ten e2 users nominated 39 writeups from 31 unique authors. haqiqat and The Custodian appeared three times; DonJaime, Jet-Poop, lizardinlaw, and Zephronias appeared twice. 132 votes were cast on the nominated writeups during the quest period, ranging from 1 to 7 new votes per writeup. Reputation changes range from -2 to +6, with a mode of 1 and a median of 2. A late spate of downvoting pulled the averages down. The net change in reputation was +72.

Dustyblue won going away in the "biggest reputation increase" sweepstakes with a +23 change across the 5 nominated writeups. I managed to attract the most total new votes (27) to my set of nominated writeups, perhaps through dedicated promotional activites, but I also garnered the most new downvotes (7) for those writeups. Participants (who are not me) will be granted GP in accordance with the 2x net rep change their nominees accrued (doubled because as a GP reward, the numbers are pretty low).

Some additional data:

Writeup changes
Number of

Quest participants/rewards
Questor Net rep change /
GP reward
AMaleKateMossFan3 / 6
DustyBlue23 / 46
go ahead I'll listen5 / 10
lizardinlaw7 / 14
mauler2 / 4
Lord Brawl13 / 0
NanceMuse2 / 4
RedOmega4 / 8
Tem427 / 14
Zephronias6 / 12

Unexpectedly, analysis of the voting produces a result that shows a clear pattern, however, not in a way that violates any quest rules. One set of writeups ended up (both in total and individually) with *less* downvotes than it had before, whereas almost all the others picked up at least one new downvote during the quest period. But hey, we all vote as we see fit.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I enjoyed reading these new writeups and discovering several new authors to check out.

Good news. I went for a much longer walk than I normally do. I didn't sleep very well last night. Part of this can be attributed to nerves about starting a new job. I'm stilll anxious that I'm somehow going to screw up and not make it there on time, I know this is just some self doubt and trepidation along with the excitement that accompanies the feeling that I've finally found a job that really suits me well. Yesterday the girls and I went to the grocery store together. I bought a bunch of fruits and vegetables and a four pack of microfiber cleaning towels that were labeled: glass, screens, bathroom, and dusting. I love things that are color coded and organized. This felt like a treat to me. I want a second set, but I can wait and put that on my list of things I can buy for myself when I want a treat that isn't food.

Years ago my sister said that the trick to eating better with less food waste was to prepare things as soon as you get home. I like to clean out the fridge before I buy groceries. I had pulled out a few things, but still have some old food sitting in the fridge. Yesterday I went to work chopping and steaming vegetables. I have two divided Tupperware containers that have six pizza shaped wedges, I got both of those down and filled up one with veggies. I didn't have enough fruit for the second one which is okay, we can work on eating up the food that we have. After steaming the cauliflower I decided to make soup. I haven't been very good about eating the spaghetti squash I made, I also had leftover butternut squash that I made into a delicious curried soup.

Yesterday my plan had been to take the girls to the mall for Jane's birthday. Instead she wanted to go to the dollar store here in town. It turns out that she's always wanted to do gift bags, she's done them before at parties, but had to use brown paper bags because that's what we had at home. This is the kind of thing that I really struggle with because I think gift bags are a complete waste of time, money, and they tick me off because it's always a bunch of junk that nobody needs and I don't want lying around my house. It's candy or little toys that don't last, stickers, pencils, temporary tattoos, I see absolutely no value in them as they represent a materialist consumer culture that I try hard to reject not to mention the landfill space this stuff takes up. But to her it's a fun thing to do and shop for, and it is her birthday and she has money to spend on these things. 

Obviously it's not really the gift bags that are bothering me, it's the fact that when I walk into my daughter's room there's a pile of Bath and Body Works hand sanitizers on the floor next to clothes, jewelry, worn out shoes, and who knows what manner of dust and grime that hasn't been swept or vacuumed up. I'm ashamed to admit that I went to the store and bought a bunch of crap the other day. We have addictions in this family, to screens, sugar, and entitlement. Why should I do anything to help this family? What about me? Poor me, I'm so unloved. My mom is the problem. She doesn't understand. Actually I do understand a lot of what these girls are going through. Home life is unpleasant and they're doing what they can to escape and make themselves feel better about the situation.

After cooking and prepping last night I was very tired. I asked the girls to clean up the kitchen and do the dishes after they put away the food. This morning I woke them up early and asked them to have the dishes done by the time I got back from my walk. It's super humid here, but I made myself go on the walk anyways. It was good for me to get away from my phone and the computer. I drank some water before I left and more when I got back. It's crazy to me how sugar creeps into everyday life and very few people I know realize how many grams my children are consuming on a daily basis. Things are going to change at home. It won't be easy, but I am sick and tired of living like this.

Yesterday at the dollar store I had a lot of time to look around. I bought myself two books and forced myself to walk away from a third because let's face it, I am not going to put a fountain or a pond in my yard. But the pictures were pretty and I wanted to learn more. It was only a dollar, but these are the small private victories that I need to celebrate and cherish because I can never get back a dollar I spend on a book. Even if I take the book back I will still have spent money on gas, I will have wasted my time, and I'm tired of living with this kind of nagging regret that has a tendency to accumulate. When we were at the grocery store I saw a paleo cookbook I really wanted. I have one that I don't care for that I spent quite a bit of money on and never use.

Lesson learned from this - buy less expensive paperbacks with pretty pictures. I treat cookbooks like magazines. I like to sit down and flip through them when I have the time. This in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but how many cookbooks do I really need, especially if I don't have a habit of making any of the recipes. I liked the bread recipe in the paleo cookbook. I always want to buy these books for Jill since these recipes tend to be gluten and dairy free, but again, she's not using them so why waste my money? I will probably go back and pick up the paleo cookbook, but if I do, it won't be an impulse purchase. It will be something I bought because it was on a list. 

My plan is to save up enough for a down payment on a condo. I will also need to save to replace and repair whatever vehicle I end up driving and I need to start contributing to my retirement account. I have some stocks that I can sell when I'm ready to buy my condo. But the market fluctuates so I need to think very carefully about where to put this money. Groceries are killing my budget. I'm happy that eating out hasn't been hurting my budget, we're going out for Jane's birthday tonight, but for the most part I have stayed out of the restaurants. For a while I was great about eating three meals a day and not snacking. One of the new books I bought has a food diary section. Expect to see a lot of that because I've realized that writing things down is the way to go.




Today's food diary entry reminds me that I need to be accountable and I can use it to track my progress. Both things that I want to be doing more. Hooray Jess! 

1. What is your weight now?

Currently I do not own a scale. I don't think I need one. My plan is to ask my neighbor if she has one. I can weigh myself once a week, but really, if I follow the plan, I'll know that I'm losing some weight and even if I don't, I will look and feel much better.

2. What was your weight when you felt the best on your life?

I believe I was 112 when I felt the best I have ever felt. This is back in 2012 after I had quit my full time job and was out in California for two weeks of training. I was following a very low high fat diet, I didn't eat much, but what I ate was very high quality. One of the things I remember from this phase is taking a beta carotene supplement and eating a lot of ghee. I miss both of those things. I was able to walk to and from classes, I was a size two and I had more energy than I have had at other times in my life. I didn't have a hard core exercise routine like I've had in the past, but I had some cute clothes and I remember being more toned and fit than I am now. Mentally I had a long way to go, sleep was a major issue, I've advanced in both those areas since then, but I would like to get back to that body feeling.

3. What is your goal for the completion of the plan?

I want to form habits that last a lifetime. I've seen far too many people languishing in nursing homes because either their minds or their bodies have gone. I can control my behavior and I know that if I incorporate healthier habits into my daily routine I will have an advantage and some degree of aging and disease protection. A lot of this is mental, but there are other components and the physicality is one of them.

4. What is your ideal weight for long term health?

I'm going to fudge a little on this one because I believe that health is tough to tie to weight. I feel as if my ideal weight is somewhere between 100 - 110 pounds. I'm five feet tall, my bones are medium sized, I tend to pack on more muscle than some women so I'm okay with weighing slightly more than another woman who is the same height I am would consider a healthy weight. Really as long as I'm doing what I need and want to, the number on the scale shouldn't really concern me. If I need a target I'm going to aim for 110. It's a nice round even number and I remember that even at 112 I had some belly fat that I could have lost. I really need to tone and firm that area, my back hurts and slimming down and tightening up that area will reduce the strain on my lower back.

5. List your three overall goals for completing this plan:

  1. I need a daily routine that is sustainable. I'll be 42 at the end of December. I want to be come up with a routine that will be with me when I'm looking forward to turning 102.
  2. While I'm feeding my body better and moving more I also want to keep reading and working on my mental health. Having a good support system has helped. I need to get out more. Maybe meeting with friends once or twice a week? 
  3. I want better relationships with inanimate objects like money, food, and shoes. Healthier relationships with people will come if I learn how to invest. I'd like to read at least one self help or wellness book a week, get into a routine with games, crafts, knitting, journaling, etc... I want to be able to enjoy my life in a way that I don't now. I want more peace, tranquility, serenity, and laughter. I want to look in the mirror and love myself more. I'd like to be there for others as others have been there for me. I need to have more fun. I can ask for things that I want and need. I can find ways to overcome, and I can be realistic and optimistic. This is the way that things are, and I can accept that the only person I have the power to change is myself.  

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